Smoking Bans in the Netherlands: A Mix of Self-Regulation and Regulation by Government

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Self-regulation is supposed to have many advantages. It is seen as cheaper, more effective and more flexible than regulation by government. In this article I examine these assumptions by looking at the self-regulation with respect to smoke-free workplaces with special attention for smoking bans in the Dutch hospitality industry. It turns out that governments deemed these forms of self-regulation as insufficient. Subsequent regulation by the government, however, proved to be rather effective. This contra-intuitive finding is explained by pointing at the preparatory effect of the self-regulation and the importance of the timing of regulation.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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  • Legisprudence aims at contributing to the improvement of legislation by studying the processes of legislation from the perspective of legal theory. The content of the journal covers legislation in a broad sense. This comprises legislation in both the formal and the material sense (from national and European parliaments, regulation, international law), and alternatives to legislation (covenants, sunset legislation, etc.). It also takes in regulation (pseudo-legislation, codes of behaviour and deontological codes, etc.). The journal is theoretical and reflective. Contributions to the journal make use of an interdisciplinary method in legal theory. Comparative and system transcending approaches are encouraged. Sociological, historical, or economic studies are taken into account to the extent that they are relevant from the perspective of interdisciplinary legal theory. Dogmatic descriptions of positive law are not taken into consideration.
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